Arts and Culture

What would have been My Morning Jacket’s first concerts in Louisville in years is cancelled.

In a tweet, the band said they had “heartbreaking news” and that band member Jim James had tested positive for COVID-19.

“This is upsetting for everybody involved and we are deeply sorry to everyone who made plans to come see us from near and far,” the statement read in part.

The rock band formed here in the late ’90s and planned to return to Louisville this weekend for its first hometown concerts in six years.

Before the cancellation, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James spoke with WFPL arts and culture reporter Stephanie Wolf. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

On the extra pressure when playing for a hometown crowd: 

Oh yeah, definitely. Yeah you know because it’s like you just have so much history here. So many people that you know and love you know, are out there and you just want it to be a really special time for everybody. So yeah, it’s definitely more charged in a lot of ways. It makes me feel more nervous but it’s also super charged with positivity and joy as well.

On the local music scene: 

We just feel so blessed to be part of such a beautiful local music scene. You know, I feel like that’s something we’ve always tried to do when we play Louisville is have local local artists, and local organizations be a part of the event. Because we just really want to highlight what amazing stuff is going on here. So yeah, for us, it’s really exciting to share the stage.

On what he hopes the world knows about the Louisville music scene: 

One thing I do talk about with with the rest of the world is just kind of directing people to check out Louisville and check out the music scene here and check out [Louisville] as one of the most magical places in the world. And I feel like Louisville is a really special and unique place that is not often recognized. And it’s not a well known spot. And we try to really let people know how much amazing art and culture and music there is here in Louisville. I think it’s a really unique place to be born or to live, because there’s a lot of magic here. There’s also a really cool mix of all these different cultures and all these different ways of looking at the world. And I’ve always really liked that kind of way that that Louisville really is a such a unique energy.

A note of transparency, WFPK is presenting the two concerts. It’s one of three stations, including WFPL News, that make up Louisville Public Media.

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.